Happy National Orthodontic Health Month!

Begun by the American Association of Orthodontists, National Orthodontic Health Month happens every year in October. Its purpose is to bring awareness to all the ways having an awesome smile with straight teeth can be an important part of your overall health.

And while it’s always the right time to think about your health, Smile Doctors welcomes each October as an opportunity to encourage and support our communities. It’s such a privilege to do the work we do, so we look forward to helping you to live a happier, healthier life—with a smile you love.

Why is Orthodontic Health Important?

“Aren’t straight teeth just for looks?” we hear you asking, and it’s a fair question. However important you feel it is to look your best, are there any other reasons to look after your orthodontic health? In a word: Yes!

For starters, that feeling of having a healthy smile does wonders for your confidence—we see it every day when our patients’ lives seem to transform right before our eyes. We never get tired of that!

“There’s no denying the aesthetic benefits of orthodontic treatment are incredible for our patients’ confidence. Plus, it can also improve the way your teeth function as part of biting, chewing, and speaking.”
Image of Rebekah Anderson DMD, MSD - Maginnis Orthodontics
— Rebekah Anderson, DMD, MSD | Maginnis Orthodontics

In addition to the mental/emotional health benefits, the American Association of Orthodontists points out “Teeth that are misaligned are harder to clean and can cause abnormal wearing of tooth enamel which can lead to extensive and expensive dental procedures.” Apart from keeping spinach out of that gorgeous grin of yours, maintaining clean teeth has potential benefits for your overall health as well.

“Some studies suggest that infection-causing bacteria found in the mouth can travel through tiny blood vessels and cause damage elsewhere in the body. That’s why it’s important to remember that your dedication and effort to keeping a healthy mouth is a clear reflection of your overall self-care. The path toward better health can always start with a love for a healthy smile.”
Image of Giancarlo Santos, DDS - Smile Doctors Orthodontics
— Giancarlo Santos, DDS | Smile Doctors Austin and Leader

In fact, it’s been well documented that people with poor oral and orthodontic health tend to have other health issues as well. From endocarditis (infection of the heart) and other cardiovascular illnesses like atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and stroke to diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease, keeping tabs on your teeth truly is powerful preventive medicine.

What is Orthodontic Treatment, anyway?

Great question! Broadly, orthodontic treatment includes procedures to straighten teeth and improve function. That generally includes a variety of braces, clear aligners, and retainers. The goal of treatment is to address 1 or more of the 4 orthodontic treatment objectives.

What are the 4 Objectives in Orthodontic Treatment?

The four orthodontic treatment objectives include

  1. Creating a healthy smile
  2. Correcting teeth spacing
  3. Resolving pronunciation difficulties
  4. Correcting breathing defects

Does Health Insurance Cover Orthodontics?

Generally, yes! Because orthodontic health is so important to overall health, most insurance plans that include dental coverage include coverage for braces and/or other orthodontic treatments. Contact your health insurance provider for specific details about your plan and payment options.

How to Celebrate National Orthodontic Health Month

Congratulations! You’re already doing one of the best things anyone can do during National Orthodontic Health Month: Learning more about orthodontic health! Whether you’ve learned something new or affirmed knowledge you already gained, we’re thankful you’re here.

In addition, National Orthodontic Health Month is a good reminder for those:

Already in treatment

We haven’t forgotten that October is primetime for candy lovers, too! National Orthodontic Health Month is a great time to remember how to keep your treatment going forward, and worry-free. Avoid caramels, taffy, hard candy, popcorn, nuts… all those things we already told you about when you first started treatment. On the other hand, chocolate (without caramel or nuts, peanut butter cups, marshmallows, and soft cookies are all greenlight-go and safe treats to eat during treatment.

Thinking about treatment

If you’ve always wanted the confidence that comes with a beautiful, healthy smile, celebrate National Orthodontic Health month by taking that first step—book a free consultation with one of our doctors today!

Lastly, consider sharing this article on your favorite social media platform(s) using #NationalOrthodonticHealthMonth.

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